At Dakota Resources, we want to help rural communities find practical ways to revitalize their community. Our Community Development work is grounded in these five proven asset-based approaches to help each community plan strategies that will complement the development of their community’s assets.
- Inclusivity. Be intentional about bringing new voices into the planning process to ensure the same small group of insiders will not be the decision makers for decades. Also, be intentional about recruiting new volunteers to prevent burnout.
- Community Approaches Leading to Regional Impact. Partner with surrounding communities. Many rural communities have a wealth of local talent and skills. Partnering with surrounding communities taps into a new pool of resources and strengthens both the communities and the surrounding regions.
- Leadership Development. Include present and future generations of decision-makers. Involving leaders of today and tomorrow ensures that a community will continue to move forward while maintaining a shared vision. This also ensures that there will not be a gap in local leadership when the present decision-maker resigns.
- Identifying and Building Economic Engines. Be intentional about expanding and strengthening the resources that create wealth for the community and its residents.
- Asset-based Development. Focus on the community’s assets — not the deficits or needs. These assets are the foundation on which the community should be built and then further developed.
With these five asset-based approaches in mind, we typically engage a community in a process that is grounded in what a community has, knows and does:
- Dakota Resources will organize conversations that include a large number of people from all sectors in the community.
- A small group of key members are gathered together to analyze and assess the community’s assets, identify a vision and identify strategies for closing the gap between where the community is and where the community wants to be.
- A large community group reconvenes to engage in the new community action plan. Moving from the present to the future takes cooperation, time, money, energy, creativity, patience and perseverance.
- Coaching is available to provide accountability for implementing the plan.
After going through this process, your community will be ready to engage in the new action plan and be the change they want to see in their community.